RAND published a noteworthy paper about a week ago. The biggest bruhaha was because this paper suggested that NATO would be unable to defend Baltic states, namely Estonia and Latvia. Lithuania was dropped out of the equation as nearness of Poland, a fellow NATO country, made it quite difficult for the reds to strike there.
I read the said paper over the weekend and I feel the findings are correct. Current forces (4 light brigades) are not sufficient to defend and push back the Russians after the attack. So more forces are needed. About seven more brigades, four of wich are heavies.
Nobody so far has commented on NATO brigades transformation from “cold war” brigades into “colonial” brigades. Something that are OK for punishing unwashed heathens, but have little business of going against tank or motor-rifle brigade. NATO has largely dropped integral artillery and Anti air capabilities from these light brigades. This was something that RAND pointed out as well.
Finland seems to be a bit slow in the intake as Finnish brigades still have integral Artillery regiment, two battalions of artillery. In praxis brigade will be reinforced with another artillery battalion so that all three fighting infantry battalions will have a support from one artillery battalion (plus their integral 120 mm mortar company). There will be AAA battalion present as well. So they are still largely meant for fighting
Russ, err A2 Yellow. Enemy that is surprisingly alike Motor-rifle battalion.
Third point was that NATO Air forces had to operate in this scenario largely from Stockholm area. This would pull Sweden without fail into the war. RAND did not take Finland into consideration at all. Maybe because they felt, that as NATO was in war with Russia, Norway would be fighting them in the North, which would force finland into guarding the neutrality stance at least. Other possible scenario in north fighting Russian push toward NATO rear area in Lapland as a part of NATO. There IS a tank alley there, one can find it from old NATO maps. 8)
RAND thought Russia would be able to make bubbles into NATO air supremacy and devastate the brigades fighting without integral Air to air capabilities. Staging air force assets into Sweden is a must, as airfields in Baltic are too exposed to VVSR and land based fires.
So it would seem that NATO has to dig up the old TO&E tables.
So, better start stocking up with those cannons, eh boys?